Let it be known that the final chapter of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman-trilogy is a solid, good movie.
It has action. It has a ruthless villain who engages in thick battles and awesome fist fights. The movie also borders on an impending darkness from which you fear your favorite masked hero might not return unscathed. The Dark Knight rises is all those things …
It is however *not* a masterpiece.
Clearly something about this dark fantasy-movie connects with many people – maybe some deep desire that the real world actually needs a masked vigilante to get rid of all the terrorism – because the movie scores highly on IMDB, setting it nicely in the top 100 of best movies ever made.
Here’s why this seems a little far-fetched …
Let’s start with the good.
The Dark Knight rises has an interesting storyline in that Bruce Wayne is now a recluse, living by himself in his great big mansion, feeling guilty for the death of his girlfriend Rachel and the death of Harvey Dent, the man who was supposed to free Gotham city from all corruption, but became the villain: Two Face.
Out of nowhere, a new villain rises and one much more organised and powerful than Batman ever faced before. His name? Bane. Simply Bane. Bruce Wayne has no choice but to put on the cloak and become Batman once more to take down his most lethal opponent …
The story of The Dark Knight rises is an interesting one.
In the previous installment, Batman was mentally outsmarted by The Joker. In this last chapter, he’s outsmarted by sheer strength and brutality. We will see a broken Batman, a hero who will fail in more ways than one to try and save himself and the people of Gotham city.
Also present is a cat burglar by the name of Selina who may/may not assist Batman in an attempt to stop Bane and his army of goons.
Now for the bad blunders & flaws.
The Dark Knight rises isn’t without its mistakes. Sure, the whole movie is a fun thrill-ride and one of the finest DC Comics-movies you’ll ever see! But … look deeper and you’ll see a whole bunch of cracks that’ll tear through this movie, making it a whole lot less perfect than the Heath Ledger-masterpiece.
First, there’s Selina Kyle, the sexy female pickpocket who steals from Bruce Wayne and other rich people for pleasure. The role is beautifully played by actress Anne Hathaway, but the character is empty and shallow.
Selina Kyle – who was supposed to become Catwoman – never fulfills her true destiny. She joins the fight and does some good, but her importance and influence in this movie isn’t much more than that of a secondary character … up until the very end, that is!
Then there’s the role of actor Morgan Freeman, otherwise important in part I and II, now nothing more than a celebrity to spice up the name list of the movie. His character, Lucius Fox, adds so little to the story that you could cut him out entirely, and you would never notice.
Same goes for the ever-graceful Marion Cotillard – why is she in this movie at all? The movie explains who she is and why she’s in Gotham city, but she adds 0% interest to the story. She’s a cute face, a charming player to look at … but she never really changes the story for the better.
And the list goes on with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Despite his character leaving much to be desired – director Christopher Nolan could’ve, no, should’ve done so much more in terms of storytelling, it’s still a joy to see this young cop brighten the movie.
At the end, we truly understand who he is and what kind of a hero he was supposed to become … but just like Catwoman we will never see him in his true colors.
A damn shame …
Christian Bale shows us a weak and broken Batman, and unlike the two previous movies, he’s clearly the best actor this time. He really understands the pain our beloved caped crusader goes through.
His opponent is very well played by none other than Tom Hardy – it’s amazing how he speaks with such a fragile voice yet when he engages into action, he’s very much like an unstoppable tank.
You may never see his face nor any of his emotions, but he still gets around showing off one of the most interesting bad guys Batman has ever faced … the mighty Bane!
In addition, there is one serious letdown in this movie: Batman wants to take down Bane. Why doesn’t he simply shoot him? Afraid of guns, mister Wayne?
I mean, Iron Man would’ve taken down Bane in the first scene already …
Did you know?
When Bane rips the photo of Harvey Dent in half he does so vertically through the middle of Harvey’s face, replicating his transition to Two-Face at the end of The Dark Knight.
Give it to me short:
The Dark Knight rises is a good movie, but it’s not quite the masterpiece everyone claims it is. Irregardless of how popular the movie may be, there’s a few things director Christopher Nolan should’ve spent more time digging out and improving.
Certain characters are just shadows passing by whereas they could have meant so much more in terms of story. There’s Lucius Fox played by Morgan Freeman who spends an entire movie as an innocent bystander. There’s the rich and powerful business woman, a role by French actress Marion Cotillard, who only shows her true colors in her last scene … but by that time the movie is over and done.
And there’s Anne Hathaway who was supposed to become Catwoman, but she’s nothing more than some female thief stealing from the rich, just to benefit her own addiction.
Despite all those serious flaws, there’s also a lot of beauty in this movie. There’s the performance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a clever young police officer who seems eager to step into the footsteps of the great Batman himself.
Naturally, there’s also the classic clash between Batman and Bane: the only enemy powerful enough to break the Batman in pieces. Whilst you may not see a lot of his face, the acting is all that much more effective. Tom Hardy doesn’t even come close to Heath Ledger, but in his own special way, he still manages to inspire.
As for Batman himself? Christian Bale has never been so good! It’s quite special to see him become a ‘different’ Batman … a broken Batman … a Batman who’s about to face the end, whether by choice or death.